If you asked me to pick out my favorite blog posts on this blog, I know that a post I wrote in December 2003 called “Blawgspace is a Generous Place” would always, always be on my list and I recommend that you read it.
On my plane ride home from BlawgThink last night I found that when I wasn’t looking forward to getting home to my wife and daughter, I was thinking about that post.
There was a session on Saturday morning, which we had called a “Five by Five” where five of the first and best legal bloggers were going to be asked five questions as an introduction to the day of Open Space discussions. Matt and I were to be the moderators. Just before the session, I talked through the way we would handle the moderating with Matt and how my goal was to stay out of the way of our speakers. I was going to ask the first question and we then alternate asking the questions.
Matt surprised me (and for those who saw my surprise, I can assure you it was genuine) by asking the first question and turning the session into a Six by Five by telling me that I was part of the panel when he asked the first question. When he started asking the question, I couldn’t believe that he had forgotten the sequence we had talked about moments before. Of course, as soon as I felt a microphone in my hand, I was ready to join right in.
At more points than you can imagine, I looked down the line of speakers – Ernie, Marty, Sabrina, Tom, Carolyn – who I now know so well and have admired so much for so long, and realized that I am the “baby” blogger among them and that I truly felt honored to be with them and thankful for all the help and friendship they’ve given me and so many others over the years.
The word I also think about with them is “generosity.” There is a generosity in sharing information, insights, time, experience, wisdom and friendship. They and the other “First Ones” of legal blogging – we wish that all of the others in that first group of legal bloggers could have been there, especially Denise Howell and Sherry Fowler – created something unique and special in the world of legal blogging. It’s something that made me want to be part of it and to carry on, in my imperfect way, the generosity, helpfulness and sharing that they have always shown.
What’s really cool is that each succeeding group of legal bloggers have shown that same generosity, a willingness to help others and a tendency to push toward new forms of collaboration. I get so much energy and so many new ideas from the newer bloggers. They are show their own kinds of generosity and also seem to be reaching out to build bridges and create new kinds of relationships. I don’t want to mention names (because this post is already long and the young bloggers love to tease me about my tendency to write long posts), but examples would be the role Evan Schaeffer has played in helping law student bloggers and almost everything the RethinkIP guys have done (even teaching me Skype instant messaging so I can hang out with them in real-time).
These days, you can get all wrapped up and even exercised about the blogging phenomenon, blogging as a marketing or even whether everyone should or should not be a blogger. So much so that you can forget that blogging is ultimately about people and people who care about words, getting the word out, about causes and getting the word out, and about helping people and getting the word out.
From BlawgThink, I ‘ll remember many things, but the ones I’ll carry with all involve people and people meeting people.
As just one example, I knew that BlawgThink was going to be the first in person meeting between Ernie and Marty. From the time I first saw Ernie in Chicago, he kept saaying “I can’t wait to meet Marty.” He kept asking when Marty was getting in and what time we’d get to meet him. I started joking with Ernie that he was acting like meeting Marty was like meeting the one of the Beatles. Ernie said, “No, it’s better than that.” Of course, even as I teased Ernie, I couldn’t keep from saying, “Marty is such a great guy!” and trying to be sure that I was there when they first met in person.
The meeting was magical, in case you wanted to know. And, one of these days soon, we’re all getting out to California, or wherever, to get the whole Between Lawyers group together.
It’s easy to get over-analytical about blogging. Today, I see blogging as being about good people with good hearts trying to do good things and make this world a little better place who have found a communications tool that works for us. We don’t always succeed and blogging may well not be the right tool for everyone, but sitting on that panel Saturday morning made me feel like I had found a great place and a great community of kindred spirits, and that Blawgspace in 2005 was still a generous place.
As I’ve also said in another of my favorite posts, which referred to the great song “People Get Ready” – you don’t need a ticket, just climb aboard.
Thank you to everyone in any way involved with BlawgThink (especially JoAnna), everyone who has helped on inspired me with my blog, and to all the readers of this blog. And to Matt, I think we really did something we can be proud of – there could have been no better partner to work on this than you, my friend.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog)]